Local group 'Inspire the Fire' ready for 'America's Got Talent' stage

Credit: NBC.com

Local group 'Inspire the Fire' ready for 'America's Got Talent' stage

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 6:41 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When ‘America's Got Talent’ begins its live shows next week, North Carolina will be well represented.

There are three acts that live in the area, and one of them is called "Inspire The Fire."

CEO and founder Dennis Reed says that during the summer as many as 400 are part of Inspire The Fire.

"Basically any young person can come to it for free.  They choose their major, whether they want to sing, dance, act, step, do visual arts, and we have these workshops.  They learn in these workshops and then they put on shows throughout the city,” Reed said.

But now people all across the country know about this group because of the 14 who are representing them on the show. They've made it through auditions in Charlotte, Tampa and Las Vegas.

"When we first did our first audition with Howard Stern and he told us he loved us.  We were all amazed.  No disrespect to Sharon or Howie, but we were like ‘Howard likes us.  We have done a great job if Howard like us,” said Sheena Croutch.

The group is among 48 acts invited to perform in live shows broadcast from New York.

"It's definitely a wide range of emotions.  You have nervousness, excitement, anxiousness—it’s all like one big ball of emotions right here in my stomach," said La’Brece Knox.

But they'll use those feelings as motivation.  They've all agreed to sign away their rights to the $1 million prize and give it to the organization.  

"Our program is absolutely free.  All of our staff is voluntary, so we are hoping that through this we can offer this program more than just twice a month.  We're hoping that it can be weekly.  We're hoping that we can do this on an ongoing basis," Reed added.

“If America can just understand  that we are not doing this for fame or fortune, that we are doing this so that we can continue to reach out to the young people in the community, I think we will all be happy if that's translated through our performances,”  Croutch added.

The live shows on ‘America's Got Talent’ begin on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on NewsChannel 36.

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